ARLINGTON -- Nelson Cruz said before Sunday's game against the Athletics that he expects to be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, the first day he is eligible to return.Cruz, who went on the disabled list on Aug. 30 with a strained left hamstring, began running on Friday and ran in the outfield on Saturday. "I won't be 100 percent, but that just means you don't go out there and steal bases and run crazy," Cruz said. Rangers manager Ron Washington said that since both Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock were eliminated from the playoffs, the organization only has the option to activate Cruz, because there are no other places to send him for a rehab stint. "He's come along real well," Washington said. "We'll see where we are Tuesday. There's no place for him to go, so he probably will get activated. He could get activated in the lineup and he could get activated and be on the bench." When Cruz returns, Washington said that David Murphy, who is batting .404 with four home runs and 18 RBIs in his last 57 at-bats entering Sunday, has likely earned a spot in the everyday lineup. "It could happen, but I won't know until we get Cruz back 100 percent," Washington said. "As long as Murph is hot, he's going to swing the bat. Of course I'll get him a day off here and there. I'm not going to run him into the ground. Murphy's been huge for us." Murphy is known for his late-season hot streaks. For his career, his batting average gets higher in each successive month, reaching its peak in September and October, in which he is batting .318. The Rangers would make the outfield work by using Josh Hamilton in center field, with Murphy in left and Cruz in right.
Rangers trying not to focus on surging Angels
ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington took time before Sunday's game to muse about the Rangers' American League West rival, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.The Angels trimmed the Rangers' lead to 1 1/2 games Saturday by beating Yankees ace CC Sabathia, coupled with Texas' loss to the A's. "They blew it open, and then I went to sleep, hoping I'd wake up and the Yankees rallied," Washington said. Michael Young insists that the Angels are not his concern, and that winning games on the field will be the only thing that will win the AL West for the Rangers. "The easiest thing to do is just go out there and play, because no matter what they do, if we go out there and take care of our business, we're going to win the division," Young said. "I'm pretty sure it will be the same thing on their end. You have to do well on your end." The Rangers expanded their lead to a season-high seven games when they took the first three games of their four game series against the Angels from Aug. 15-17. Since that time, the Rangers are 10-12. Over these last 22 games, the Rangers have had trouble with their pitching. The staff holds a 5.08 ERA in that span. Washington points to that as the Angels' biggest strength. "At this time of the year, you've got to pitch, whether it's out of the bullpen, or the starting rotation," Washington said. "You can't expect to score seven, eight, nine runs every day. You've got to win some of these games you put up two or three runs. You got to pitch, bottom line." The 1 1/2-game lead is the smallest since Aug. 8.
Young to hold BaseBOWL Tournament
ARLINGTON -- Michael Young will host the his Celebrity BaseBOWL Tournament on Sunday after the Rangers take on the Oakland Athletics.The bowling tournament, the first event of the newly founded Michael Young Family Foundation, will benefit Wipe Out Kids' Cancer. "It's going to be a long day, but it's going to be a lot of fun," Young said. "We're looking forward to it, it's for a very worthy cause and all the kids are going to be there. We're hoping to take care of business on the field, and then have some fun tonight." The event, which will be held at 300 Dallas, includes a silent auction, a live auction and two games of bowling.
Rangers call up lefty Kirkman for bullpen depth
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers called up left-hander Michael Kirkman before Sunday's game against the A's.Kirkman, who was with the Rangers for two previous stints earlier this year, was recalled after Triple-A Round Rock was eliminated from the playoffs on Saturday night. "Another arm," Washington said. "He's going to give us some length, too." Washington expects that Kirkman will be the only pitcher to join the team, despite the fact that both Round Rock and Double-A Frisco were eliminated on Saturday, which would free up everyone. "He's the only one right now," Washington said. "I don't know if there will be any more. I was told Kirkman last night, I haven't talked to [general manager] Jon [Daniels] today, yet. There may not be any more. Probably not." Since Kirkman is already on the 40-man roster, there was no necessary corresponding move. In 23 1/3 innings with the Rangers, Kirkman has allowed 19 earned runs for a 7.33 ERA. At Round Rock, Kirkman carried a 5.05 ERA in 73 innings, striking out 84 and walking 37. While Kirkman was not in the clubhouse pregame, he is expected to be at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington for the start of Sunday's game.
Adrian Beltre, who notched career hit No. 2,000 last Sunday, has 299 home runs. There are 83 players in MLB history with both 300 home runs and 2,000 hits. Yoshinori Tateyama became only the second pitcher in Major League history to allow grand slams in back-to-back at-bats, dating back to 1876. He allowed a grand slam to Carl Crawford on Sept. 3rd and then to the first batter he faced, Scott Sizemore, on Saturday. He joins Greg McCarthy of the Mariners for the dubious distinction. The Rangers have 12 or more hits in each of the last four games going into Sunday. The longest streak in club history is five, which has happened six times.
Louie Horvath is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.